April 14, 2017
It’s time to talk about the first look at ‘Episode VIII.’
The most anticipated trailer of the year has finally arrived.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer dropped Friday during Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, and Heat Vision has assembled four of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Star Wars enthusiasts to break it down. Here we go:
Erik Hayden: There was Kylo Ren’s shattered mask. That brief horrific flashback of what seems like a Jedi Academy (?) burning. A world-building glimpse at General Organa sizing up the galaxy-wide strategic battle plan. Plus some hardy new Resistance vehicles steaming full-force, podracer-style, at some new AT-AT-esque walkers. And, of course, Luke’s genuinely surprising twist (but possibly out-of-context) “time for the Jedi to end” quote that drew gasps.
Ryan Parker: I thought the opening moments of the trailer were beyond fantastic. Finally hearing Luke’s voice was akin to seeing Han and Chewie for the first time in The Force Awakens trailer. The hints of Yoda’s voice mixed in there gave me goosebumps.
Graeme McMillan: It’s not just Yoda’s voice—there are other voices fading in and out of the opening voiceover, including a woman’s, who… might be Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o)? It’s a really subtle, really nice effect. Who knew that “headphone trailers” were a thing?
Hayden: What was most enjoyable about the short teaser was that it took a second to, literally, as Hamill’s voiceover noted, “breathe” and peer at the intricacies of Luke’s craggy Ireland island meditation retreat where Rey is training. While Force Awakens‘ breakneck pace of reintroductions didn’t leave time, really, for viewers to enjoy just being in the Star Wars universe again, here’s hoping that The Last Jedi brings back a bit more of The Force’s mysticism. Even John Williams’ stirring score seemed more refreshingly relaxed before building to its expected crescendo.
McMillan: Rey talking about “the balance” felt like it was a signpost that this is going to be about The Force far more than The Force Awakens, despite what that title suggested. It felt very much like Empire Strikes Back in that way; a suggestion that, after the exciting kick-off, this is the one that goes deeper into the mythology, and maybe even upsets the whole thing.
Parker: I was disappointed they showed Kylo Ren without the helmet. I know he needed to be in there, but ever since Adam Driver made fun of the character on SNL, he just doesn’t seem like he can be as menacing as I want. Leave the helmet on, dude.
Aaron Couch: Ryan, it wasn’t until you pointed the SNL thing to me yesterday that I realized this might be an issue … but it is. Kylo will have to work a little to live up to the menace of his grandfather after that. But that’s also sort of the point.
Parker: I am so very grateful they did not show any lightsaber battles. I would be just fine with not seeing any of those moments until I am in the theater. Make us want it even more. And, at this point, I am not even sure of Luke will fight. He may be more like Yoda in Empire and Jedi.
Couch: My absolute favorite shot is Rey training with the saber as Luke looks on, but there are so many good shots in this. Rian Johnson’s writing and directing (in that order) were what I was most excited about when he was announced as joining the Star Wars universe. I hadn’t considered properly this trailer what his long time DP Steve Yedlin would be bringing to the table, but it’s clear from so many of these shots that he’s now the No. 3 reason I’m happy Team Johnson is on this movie.
McMillan: I’m surprised by what we didn’t see, actually: No Chewbacca, or Threepio? What’s maybe even more surprising: I didn’t miss them at all. This really worked well as a teaser for me. I’m already in, and impatient for December.